First Kombucha Brew


At long last! We have our first batch of home-brewed kombucha. I second guessed myself every step of the way, convinced I would screw something up, but it turns out that kombucha is very easy to make. And healthy and delicious, too! Win, win, win. (I can’t resist Office references.)

Kombucha Recipe & Instructions

  1. Bring 1 gallon of purified water to a boil, remove from heat.
  2. Add 10 organic black tea bags, and steep 5-10 minutes. Remove tea bags and cool completely.
  3. Rinse clean hands and a glass brewing vessel (I used a gallon jar) with white vinegar and water. Pour tea into jar.
  4. Add 1 cup organic white sugar, stir until dissolved.
  5. Add kombucha starter (scoby + 1 cup brewed kombucha).
  6. Cover with a clean cloth or tea towel, secure with a rubber band.
  7. Place jar in a warm, dark place with good air circulation. Let brew for 7 days. Do not disturb.
  8. Check the tea after 7 days. If it tastes sweet, let it brew longer, tasting every day until the sweet taste is gone and the tart taste takes over.The longer the brew, the more sour/vinegary the tea will taste. (Update: My brew consistently takes 14 days—with only 1 scoby—before the sweet taste is gone. With 2 or more scobys, it’s done in 7 days.)
  9. When desired taste is reached, pour 1-2 cups brewed kombucha into a clean glass jar or bowl and transfer scobys into the container. Cover with cloth and rubber band and place in a dark place.
  10. Pour the remaining kombucha into clean bottles (rinsed with vinegar/water), flavor (optional, see notes below), and store at room temperature for 2-3 days. Transfer to refrigerator. You can skip the second ferment if you aren’t flavoring or do not want the natural carbonation.

Notes on flavoring:

  • Kombucha is easy to flavor. I just dropped a bit of frozen fruit into the bottom of each bottle, poured in the kombucha (almost to the top), screwed on the lids, and set in a cooler at room temperature for 3 days.
  • Strawberries make kombucha super fizzy! It tastes like strawberry soda; even Luke likes it! The blueberries and grapes gave a much milder flavor, but still added lots of bubbles. Blueberry-pomegranate juice was so-so, but the spiced apple is delicious!
  • There’s lots of flavoring ideas here.

Kombucha Kamp is a really, really helpful website that I referenced a number of times for troubleshooting.

Special thanks to my sister-in-law, Lacey, for the recipe and instruction, and to my sister, Amy, for the scoby! We’re a family of kombucha-brewing fools. 🙂


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